Only few data on the (problematic) use of alcohol in workers and possible job related effects are available.Methods
In 2016 an anonymized questionnaire was filled out by Belgian employees while waiting for a periodical occupational health screening. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test- Consumption (AUDIT-C) was used to measure prevalence of alcohol consumption. Also, the effects on absenteeism, lost productivity, workplace accidents, conflicts with co-workers and sanctions by employers were investigated.Result
5367 workers completed the questionnaires. 37.1% of last year drinkers (n=4197) drank more than once a week; 36.4% with an average daily consumption of 3 to 4 units, 11.4% with ≥5 to 6 units. Respectively 22.7% and 7.8% exhibited binge drinking at least once a month/week. Based on AUDIT-C 39.1% of last year drinkers had an indication of problematic drinking. This was significantly higher among higher educated and male employees<35 years. In the construction industry, 51.6% of last year drinkers had an indication of problem drinking. 12.2% of last year drinkers experienced consequences on the job. 27.8% observed negative effects among their colleagues, especially being late at work (18.3%), irregular job performances (18%), absenteeism (15.7%) and conflicts with colleagues (10.6%). There is a significant relation between the AUDIT-score and job related effects (p<0,001). Being single, age (<35 year) and specific work environments were risk factors: 23.5% of workers within the construction industry, 17.8% within the catering industry and 17.1% within the transport sector experienced consequences at the workplace in the past year. We did not found correlations between the AUDIT-C score and job stress, satisfaction, recognition and variation.Discussion
Overall results show that problem drinking among workers is a typically male issue. Given the negative impact of work, a tailored and multicomponent alcohol policy in different sectors need to be implemented.